A collection of short stories set in the author's beloved Orkney Islands, exploring the landscape and the people who inhabit it. There are tavern keepers, tinkers, Sikh merchants, Vikings, priests, madmen secular and religious, many sailors, and many wives and lovers of sailors. There is sadness, treachery, tragedy, drunkenness, repentance, and joy.
The portrait of a pastoral human community full of flawed characters occasionally illuminated by grace provokes obvious comparisons with William Faulkner, Wendell Berry, and Sholem Aleichem. Brown, better known as a poet, has a straightforward prose style and an ease with plot that keeps his stories from ever feeling forced.